Los Angeles, CA — Chris Reed, founder and CEO of Reed’s Inc. has resigned and has been reassigned to Chief Innovation Officer (CIO), a newly created role within the company. Stefan Freeman, Reed’s director, has been appointed as interim CEO by the Company board of directors during the transition.
“Reed’s has never had a more impressive portfolio of new products waiting to launch in the history of the Company. My transition from CEO to Chief Innovation Officer allows me to focus my full energies to bringing these exciting new products to fruition. We have developed the first natural soda fountain products and have it in trial at a large national fast casual restaurant chain. These soda fountain versions of our popular natural sodas allow restaurants and other fountain concessions to buy our products for significantly less than the full packaged bottled price and at competitive prices to other fountain products. This supports our strategy for opening up new markets and strengthening our brand equity. In addition, we have developed a compelling line of full flavor, all natural, low calorie sodas that we believe taste identical or better than their full calorie counterparts. I believe that these new product ideas have such significant potential that we will be reaching out to form strategic partnerships, including with larger beverage companies, to help with their implementation.” said Reed in a press release.
The changes are taking place after a decrease in revenue of 7.6 percent totaling $42.4 million in 2016. Reed’s is a publicly traded company that has a brand portfolio consisting of Reed’s Ginger Beer and Virgil’s. It is hoped that Freeman will assist in helping the company bounce back from supply chain issues and improve distribution of products.
“I would like to thank Chris for his extensive contributions over the years and for pioneering the craft soda revolution and welcome Stefan to his new role as Interim CEO of Reed’s. Stefan’s extensive experience in the beverage industry will certainly be utilized and the shareholders are fortunate that he is local and available to lead the business during this transitional period. When the shareholders elected this board they strengthened the Company with a great team of experienced and capable executives. We will all be working together to drive growth under the leadership of Stefan while we search for the permanent CEO who will lead this Company through the next stages of growth,” commented John Bello, chairman of Reed’s, Inc.